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X-48B BWB Prototype to Fly in 2006

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posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 10:24 PM

Originally posted by gfad
Is there any news on this topic yet? 2006 is like 3/4 gone now and as far as I know the prototype hasnt flown yet.

not really.

I looked around, and it says that they have 2 prototypes built, and have undergone a bunch of wind tunnel tests. And are still expecting to take to the skies in late 06'.

Heres the latest article from Boeing I found (May 06')
Boeing Phantom Works to Lead Research on X-48B Blended Wing Body Concept

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 09:42 AM

A 30 foot test bed for its systems and a scale model flown in 1995. Im confused why its taken so long to get it from these shots, to a flying prototype at least.

Unless of course it got caught in all the in fighting that goes on for funding.

Nice piccie to show the sheer size of the damn thing!

Any how, will go back to trawling the net......

Oh and ill add the other pics i have. Heres the large model in flight.
[edit on 5-9-2006 by D4rk Kn1ght]

[edit on 5-9-2006 by D4rk Kn1ght]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 09:51 AM
Sorry I couldn't get the edit button to work for some reason, so i added this.

This is from a slide show from a long time back, but is sadly no longer on the link I had for it. I saved it to disk and im glad i did. Here you go.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 10:04 AM
Those photos resemble very closely the Northrop Killerbee UAV, which I believe is in the flying prototype stage as well.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 10:21 AM
he he that kind of looks like an upside down version of it - cheers for adding those pics.

I would love to see this blended wing idea take shape and become the norm - makes a far more beautiful aircraft than a metal tube with some stuck on wings - GO BWB!

Oh man thats rotten. There was me all excited about the kiler bee, and to findout that its tiny...lmao. Heres aa good article on its development - The picture shows the small size.

Im adding this piccie not to detract from the X-48b, but to see if any one can identify it. its from a blog I read ages ago (2005 ish) and can never find another Northrop aircraft even remotely like it. Any ideas?

[edit on 5-9-2006 by D4rk Kn1ght]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 11:39 AM
Im pretty sure that second picture is of the Global Hawk, its just from a strange angle.
Global Hawk image

If you check the above photo you can see the matching square rear fuselage and the indent below the engine.

Its funny, I always thought the global hawk was tiny and the killerbee was huge and then I found it was totally the opposite!!

[edit on 5/9/06 by gfad]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 02:27 PM
I agree GFAD after a good long look to compare.

But back to the thread -

If they have (and the pictures prove) flown a blended wing body that large and so long ago (95/96) just why are they playing around with a smaller model now? I cannot fathom why such a large project should seem to take a step back. I know it is Boeing and not NASA, but surley NASA would gladly hand over all its results to a USA company to make American efforts reach further and quicker?

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 06:26 PM
yeah, Global Hawk was the first thing that popped into my head as well.

I'm not sure why they keep making sub scale BWB's...there has being around 5 different ones within the past decade alone.

But I'm glad theres at least money still being spent on the concept. Since it deffiniatly has potential for many roles, military and civilian.

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 12:58 AM

Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght
Im adding this piccie not to detract from the X-48b, but to see if any one can identify it. its from a blog I read ages ago (2005 ish) and can never find another Northrop aircraft even remotely like it. Any ideas?

Having spent a great deal of time around Global Hawks, I can assure you that the aircraft in your second link is indeed a Global Hawk.

Regarding the X-48...

The X-48 BWB concept has gotten a little quiet since the Air Force Research Laboratory got in on the deal, (in May '06, I believe). That's not to say it is a secret project now, it's just the AFRL guys are not as forthcoming with news as you may like. Generally, if it is not politically or industrially beneficial they'll stay quiet about it until it has a test flight.

Judging from the amount of time it has been reported that the mockups have been spending in windtunnel tests, I would guess that there may be some form of stability issues that they are trying to hammer out before a first flight is made.

Software and airframe designing to level out turns could be quite a challenge for the amount of money budgetted. For that reason I would not be surprised if the X-48 is running a little behind schedule.

Just a guess though~

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:26 AM
could put a professional guess as to why the airframe in thise piccie from 1996 has been test flown as a large model, and yet the bwb is as you say still in wind tunnel tests??

Are they not the same airframe / type ? or is the BWB moniker just a catch all for all the different projects??

heres the piccie link.
And again heres the large test craft in flight.

(Oh and thanks for the global hawk id - i just couldn't figure out the short nose...Thanks all!:up

[edit on 6-9-2006 by D4rk Kn1ght]

posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 10:21 AM
UPDATE: are reporting that Boeing Phantomworks are to complete ground testing of the X-48 this year in preparation for flight testing early 2007.

The testing will take place at NASAs Dryden Test Facility and will use two 21ft prototypes built here in the UK by Cranfield Aerospace. The first prototype has already been used for wind-tunnel testing and will beused as a back-up for the second prototype during full testing.

Ship 2 as the second prototype is formally named will undergo ground testing over the next few months to check its fuel, engine, battery, telemetry, communication, flight-control and taxiing before being flight tested. The flight testing will focus on low-speed situations ie. take-off and landing and specifically the BWBs handling characteristics in these conditions.

Check out the article here.

posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 12:56 PM
Ship 2 was on display at the Edwards AFB air show this past weekend. It has two flight-test air data probes attached to the leading edde of the wings.

posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 02:25 PM
Any aircraft shape that turns out relatively short (from nose to tail) is going to have longitudinal stability issues. In good air they should work great, but their capability to handle cross wind landings and takeoffs will be diminished from the longer shapes with a big rudder.

Someone mentioned earlier that there were concerns about placing passengers so far out from the center of gravity of the BWB, but in commercial operations that should not be a problem since almost all turns are standard two minute turns that maintain one G over the entire plane. In an emergency however, where turns can generate much higher G loads the people furtherst out would feel a lot more G force than the ones in the middle. God forbid the plane ever did a snap roll.

posted on Nov, 1 2006 @ 03:47 AM
Um, if the pilots are doing a coordinated turn like they should, the G-forces across the entire plane with be equal because the acceleration vector is through the floor. Now, if they **** up, then its anybody's guess. Here's an idea, give each person a small display screen in the back of the seat in front of them. They control miniature camera imbedded in the fuselage that look in many different direction. Let them switch between them so they can see out if they want. Then, when landing, the pilot takes control of them so they can be used for landing.

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 04:36 AM
Boeing have released two new photos of Ship 2 which can be seen in this gallery along with three wind tunnel photos.

Apparently Ship 2 is 8.5% the size of the actual planned aircraft and can reach heights of 10,000 feet and speeds of 120 knots. The two probes described by Shadowhawk can be seen in both photos.

[edit on 2/11/06 by gfad]

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 09:44 AM
Regarding the BWB Boeing's Vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, Randy has answered a question about whether this plane would become the 797 and were in it's development it is.

Is there any truth to the emails showing a blended wing 1,000-passenger concept that is dubbed a Boeing 797? Makes sense that the airline industry would head this direction some day, but it just sounds too good to be true!

Yes, too good to be true, indeed, Walter. Someone was having a bit of fun with PhotoShop perhaps. Boeing is not planning to build a 1,000 passenger commercial airplane dubbed the "797," based on the blended wing body (BWB) concept or any other futuristic concept. It's certainly not in our commercial market forecast, which goes out for 20 years. We think the commercial airplane market favors point-to-point routes, and we're developing the 787 as the perfect match to help meet that demand.

Here is the link along with some answers to composites airbus plans for the A350XWB and many more

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 10:26 AM
Although a passenger version is possible I think the project is mainly intended to study the concept as a fuel tanker or even a large transport, hence becoming an X-plane rather than just an internal prototype. Could be wrong though.

The idea of using a BWB with such a massive volume clearly has merit as a design for a tanker. Check these images:

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 11:52 AM
Great pics gfad of the latest from boeing, but i am really confused now...

This is a pic i posted ages ago about the blended wing body test model in flight... and it looks identical to the ones that have yet to be flown....

Whats going on??

Oh and the idea of a blended wing tanker is an awesome one... good looking, stealthy, and huge capacity!

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 01:21 PM
I agree the situation is confusing and I dont understand it either.

I read an article online (cant find where now) about this up-coming testing and it mentioned a previous flight of a prototype. Maybe the pic that you posted is of a smaller model or a proof-of-concept and what is going to be tested next year is a larger more advanced test-bed.

Just guesses though.

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 04:49 PM
that model was HUGE!! I mean ill hunt down the image again if i can, but the guy was dwarfed by it as it sat on the runway (i'd guess at least 30 feet high!)

But then if this is an upgraded model in some way??? but the pictures and the official time line just don't add up.

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